Quotable Country – 05/31/15 Edition

Too many quotes this week, so I’ve broken all the Keith Hill stuff off into a separate SaladGate supplement. First, here are all the quotes you missed while making tomato jokes.

Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.

I didn’t know anything about marijuana back then. It’s one of the most fantastic things in the world.
— Merle Haggard reconsiders “Okie from Muskogee.”

People criticized Taylor for being too pop. But she took all of us country artists, while she was in this format, and picked us all up a notch. We all owe her thanks for that, and I think we’re all gonna owe Florida Georgia Line that same thank-you.
— Oh god, Frankie Ballard. You make it hard to defend you sometimes.

Well, I had a pretty shitty result with that [Days of Gold] record outside of “Beachin’” and “What We Ain’t Got.” Essentially, it didn’t sell as many records as we probably wished we would have and I don’t know, I started finding new songs. […] [The next record] definitely has more of a funkier feel to it—it’s nice to give people a little diversity and I think right now in our format there’s so many different things that people have a lot of opportunity to find other things they want. I wanted to change it up a little bit, you know? I think we have enough of what people are used to.
— Jake Owen has me worried, part one.

My whole record, honestly, revolves around when I was a kid growing up in Vero Beach, Fla. growing up 50 feet from the ocean … that’s right around the time Sublime put that (self-titled) record out.
— Jake Owen has me worried, part two.

The bro-country stuff probably opened [the format] up to those things being acceptable. Then it gives you that evolutionary [mind-set]: ‘OK, if they can do that, then maybe we can do this.’
— “Take Your Time” songwriter Josh Osborne on country’s recent infusion of soul, R&B, and hip-hop influences.

It bothers me because I don’t feel like it’s a compliment. To me, it’s sort of a backhanded thing that comes from a very narrow-minded listener and I don’t know who came up with that ridiculous term.
— Jason Aldean on being labeled ‘bro-country.’

“That era is gone. We had the artists like Dolly (Parton) and John (Cash) that came from poverty, and they had something authentic to bring to it,” Harris said of their hardscrabble Southern upbringing.
Crowell then poked fun by defending a contemporary theme in country music.
“In fairness, ‘I’m gonna get drunk and drive my tractor into the wall’ is in its own way a uniquely Southern narrative,” he said.
“Most can’t even drive a tractor, or a manual transmission,” Harris interjected.
— Good job, bros. Now you even have Emmylou Harris throwing shade at you.

I’m actually very fond of my early stuff. That’s what made me. Sometimes, I wish I could make those records all over again.
— Me too, Joe Nichols.

It’d be fun to see Steven Tyler have success in this town. You know, how much fun would that be to hand him a CMA award for something?
— It’s like I don’t even know you anymore, Brad Paisley.

But it took me a good while to get the courage to sing in those teenage years. That’s a pretty rough stretch of life, seventh and eighth grade. I could bury my head down and not have to look up, I had a friendship with that guitar. But when I had to start to looking at people and singing, it got a little scary. It still does.
— Vince Gill on finding solace in music.

Nashville is geared toward the money-making part of the music industry — the pop part of country music. We were part of that for a while, when we were younger.
Now it seems like all of country radio is geared toward 18- to 25-year-olds. We don’t fit into exactly what they want — even Vince Gill and Reba can’t get as much airplay as they used to.
— Michael Britt, lead guitarist of Lonestar.

Anderson says a potential hit from the set could very well be “Tight White Wife Beater,” which is about a familiar fashion style. “It’s funny, because I guess in country music, everyone knows what the wife-beater is — a tight ribbed shirt. It’s just a fun song about seeing a girl in this shirt and falling in love.”
— Keith Anderson is back with a fun song about a shirt nicknamed for its association with domestic abuse. I don’t see any way this could end up being a terrible idea…

The interracial, cross-cultural reality can be seen in Guyton herself as she takes up the vulnerable-but-strong torch tradition borne by Patsy Cline. “Better Than You Left Me” even has the slightly waltzy tempo that opened Aretha Franklin’s “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” — only without Aretha’s gospel inflection. Guyton’s country-western vibe is no less authentic; it’s equally part of an American music prodigy’s heritage. Zavadil may frame Guyton to resemble the long tresses and delicate emoting of commercial giant Carrie Underwood, yet keen-eyed viewers will note a Beyoncé breeze blowing Guyton’s hair in that empty house that no longer feels like a home. “Better Than You Left Me” also echoes Dionne Warwicke’s 1964 hit “A House Is Not a Home.” It’s uncanny that the more Guyton evokes Aretha and Dionne, the more countrified and at-home she seems.
— Film critic Armond White on Mickey Guyton for OZY: “A Black Woman’s Kickass Country Music.”

I despise to go to a show and somebody does that, because they usually get overboard. They get emotional and that sort of thing, and I just don’t think it works.
— Charlie Daniels, who’s quite political in private life, on talking politics from the stage.

I wasn’t a producer at the time, and I went home and told my partner, ‘I met a girl tonight, and if I was ever going to make that leap [to produce], I wish that it was with her.’ I’d never been so hit in the face with somebody just sitting there with her guitar, singing things back to me. I was just like, ‘This is the combination of every artist that has formed my musical path. From Lee Ann Womack to Willie to Dolly, the people that I have been obsessed with, they’re all rolled up right here in Kacey.’ It’s not what’s on the radio right now, but I would like to think that we’re working to change that. Those choruses, and the way she sings? It’s all right there, the singalong-ability of commercial pop songs of all of our history.
— Shane McAnally on meeting Kacey Musgraves.

There’s a line on Musgraves’ new album, on a song called “Good Ol’ Boys Club”: Another gear in a big machine don’t sound like fun to me. It’s a classic Musgraves move, layering new meaning on a cliché phrase. In this case, she is referencing Nashville’s Big Machine, a powerhouse label built around the discovery and lucrative evolution of Taylor Swift. “I’m talking about a lot of different people,” Musgraves tells me, when I ask about the double-meaning. “Any industry has its shoo-ins and people that get in because they know somebody, or their dad worked here, whatever. But, yeah, there is a wink.” Swift—one year Musgraves’ junior, the blonde to her brunette, the Yankee transplant to the taxidermy-wielding Texan—used to be more of a direct competitor than she is now that she’s openly left the genre to go full-on pop. (Both of Musgraves’ Grammy victories were over Swift.) “The idea of massive amounts of fame—having my face on Walgreens end-caps and pizza boxes—I don’t fantasize about that,” Musgraves says, referencing some of Swift’s recent album promo. “Do I want to be comfortable, to live my life however I want within reason? Yeah. But I’m happy with just being a songwriter. I’d rather have smaller numbers [of fans] that are really into what I’m doing than a massive amount of people that don’t really know what I’m about.”
— From the (unfortunately titled) Fader cover story on Musgraves. Good read.

I’ve written through the years, through the last decade, probably a lot more songs that have gone on the radio that fit that motif, that audience, whereas I haven’t done many ballads. It’s all party and drinkin’ stuff.
[Our summer touring is] all outdoor – people are doing that, they’re drinking and since we’re there playing every night and since I write most of my songs on the road, that’s what your surroundings are so you’re just feeding the monster.
— Interesting choice of words by Toby Keith.

I don’t think people have given him as much credit as they should. People don’t know, because he sings so low, but his range is crazy, and the runs that he’s capable of and the control of his voice is unlike anything I’ve ever recorded in my life. It’s really, really special.
— “I’m Comin’ Over” producer Corey Crowder on Chris Young.

So it’s a huge lifestyle change, but if you go into it understanding the reality of what you’re doing — if you’re not making radio country music, then the chances that you’ll be owning a boat in five years are not great. But also understanding that there’s a deeper joy found in waking up every day and actually giving a s–t if I actually accomplish the thing that I want to accomplish. I’m feeling joy return to me, and I’m lucky to get to do something I really love.
— Sam Outlaw on giving up a career in ad sales for a music career. Angeleno is out next week.

I’ve heard a few of them over the years. First of all, I’m flattered and honored that people think that way about the music we’ve done. I’ve always heard that imitation is the highest form of flattery. I’m glad I did something that is worth mimicking. But, I know when we do our thing, we aren’t joking. When I do ‘Black Sheep,’ it doesn’t sound like any of those other guys.
— John Anderson on John Anderson impressions.

I think the fans decide what is and is not country music. If it’s getting purchased, then it’s doing well. What’s great about country music is it’s exactly what it is – it’s music for the country.
— John Rich, coming about as close to communicating nothing in 36 words as is possible.

People that you don’t necessarily think are country music fans or outlaw country music fans — that has taken me by surprise. Jon Hamm listens. Stephen King listens. That is startling. It humanizes these people because I see them on TV and think, ‘They’re not real.’ Then I find out they’re fans. The first thing that happens is my stomach drops. I’m in awe. That’s the national radio medium. It’s really fortunate for me. You can stay in the underground for a really long time. I feel like I’m on the exit ramp.
— Elizabeth Cook on celebrity fans of her “Apron Strings” radio show.

You get throwed off a lot.
— Billy Joe Shaver on his unsuccessful bull-riding stint.

I don’t know what the f**k’s wrong with Bob (laughing).
— Merle Haggard on Bob Dylan.

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  1. says

    I feel like I’m in a parallel universe when reading Jason Aldean’s quote! Of course, it’s not a compliment, Captain Obvious! Doy! And he’s calling those who aren’t complimenting his simple minded music narrow minded? So clueless.

    I have no defense for that Brad Paisley quote.:(

    • the pistolero says

      I have no defense for that Brad Paisley quote.

      I can’t imagine who would, honestly. It’s really quite appalling, as is a lot of what comes out of Paisley’s mouth anymore.

      It makes me sad that no one mentions Dan Seals in these lists of people from other genres going country. He ended up having a more legitimate country music career and leaving a better mark on the genre than, say, Bon Jovi or Julio Iglesias.

  2. Scotty J says

    Some of these guys are so pathetic. One gets the feeling that they would do just about anything for a hit and Jake Owen seems to be at the top of that list. And they are so open about it I mean Joe Nichols may as well just say my old stuff was good and my new stuff sucks but hey by new record anyway. Brad Paisley is like the ultimate company man who will blindly support whatever the system pumps out and has lost any respect I ever had for him.

    Do any of these guys have any artistic integrity left or is it to the point where they will say or record anything to get a hit and stay popular?

      • Scotty J says

        I would just like for once for one of these guys to speak out and then not backtrack. Even Zac Brown got all mealy mouthed after criticizing Luke Bryan a couple of years ago and Brad Paisley in theory should be someone that could do that but instead he just goes along to get along. It just seems like no one believes in anything anymore beyond getting that next hit record. To paraphrase with great success should come a great responsibility to the art form that has made these people fabulously wealthy but I guess I’m a dreamer.

    • the pistolero says

      Do any of these guys have any artistic integrity left or is it to the point where they will say or record anything to get a hit and stay popular?

      Scotty J, I think that to ask that question is to answer it, especially in the case of Brad Paisley. I would have said that every time he opens his mouth I lose a little more respect for him, but between the dumb things he says like this and the whiny little tantrum he threw after his latest album came out (as reported by Saving Country Music), I don’t really have any left.

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